What is underage drinking?
Underage drinking refers to teenagers who are under the legal age of drinking (19 years old according to Ontario law) who consume alcohol. Underage drinking not only breaks the law but also affects the well being of the person consuming alcohol as well as the society in general.
The consumption of alcoholic drinks can create problems related to health, and can potentially cause the person to become an addict, which combined with other problems related to alcohol such as poor decision making, being prone to accidents, low concentration, relationship damage between the person and his family/friends, depression, amongst others, can adversely affect the life of a teenager.
Teenagers are inexperienced and when too much alcohol is consumed it can lead to all kinds of problems. Young people use alcohol more than any other drug, including tobacco. Despite a lack of enforcement, minimum-drinking-age laws have been very effective in reducing many of the harms associated with underage drinking.
If these laws were enforced more strictly and/or additional strategies targeting alcohol consumption factors were implemented, the warm reduction would be more effective.
However, many teenagers drink alcohol at least occasionally, and a considerable number of them drink frequently and heavily. They can find alcohol for free or at low prices, which contributes to their drinking at levels that significantly increase their risk of negative alcohol-related consequences.
Not all teens experience the same level of problems, those who drink more, and drink more often, suffer a greater number of negative consequences. Further, underage students who drink heavily are more likely to miss class, fall behind in school, suffer injuries, have unplanned or unprotected sex, drive after drinking. Students can also experience "secondhand" effects of others' alcohol misuse, such as having their sleep or study...